When the Bavarian Nazi Party chairman, Martin Bormann, was looking for something to give Hitler for his fiftieth birthday , he remembered a comment Hitler made whilst walking through the Alps in the southern German state of Bavaria. Hitler pointed to the top of Mt. Kehlstein and said, “wouldn’t it be nice to have a house up there”.
In 13 months Bormann had built a chalet on a ridge of Kehlstein at 1834m (6017ft) accessed by a panoramic road 6.5km (4mi), a brass elevator built into the mountain for the last 124m (407ft) and all at a cost of 150 million euros (30 million Riechmarks).
Bormann’s plan was outrageous to say the least, he commissioned engineers to build firstly a road to the top then a chalet on the top of Kehlstein. The engineers returned saying it was impossible as the last 124m (407ft) is sheer cliff face. Bormann not a man to take no as an answer demanded a solution so the engineers returned with the proposal to build a road to 5600 ft, then tunnel 123m (400ft) into the mountain, then tunnel another 124m (407ft) up to the top. Inside the vertical tunnel would be a polished brass elevator which would arrive to a reception room dominated with a marble fireplace, given by Mussolini, and furniture designed by Paul László.
With the war coming to an end the area was heavily bombed but remarkably the Eagles Nest, as it become known, was missed each time. The allies used it as amilitary command post up until 1960 when it was handed over to the state of Bavaria. Today the building serves as a mountaintop restaurant and cafe
Not a bad gift for a man who was afraid of heights